New Year's Day 2008
This article is about the date January 1 in the Gregorian calendar. For other uses, see New Year's Day (disambiguation).
New Year's Day is the first day of the New Year. On the modern Gregorian calendar, it is celebrated on January 1, as it was also in ancient
January 1 marks the end of a period of remembrance of a particular passing year, especially on radio, television, and in newspapers, which usually starts right after Christmas Day. Publications often have year-end articles that review the changes during the previous year. Common topics include politics, natural disasters, music and the arts, and the listing of significant individuals who died during the past year. Often there are also articles on planned or expected changes in the coming year, such as the description of new laws that often take effect on January 1.
This day is traditionally a religious feast, but since the 1900s has become an occasion for celebration the night of December 31, called New Year's Eve. There are often fireworks at midnight. Depending on the country, individuals may be allowed to burn fireworks, even if it is forbidden the rest of the year.
It is also a memorable occasion to make New Year's resolutions, which they hope to fulfill in the coming year; the most popular ones in the western world include to stop tobacco smoking or drinking alcohol, or to lose weight or get physically fit.
Many groups organize Polar Bear Plunges on this day.
See also: Old Style and New Style dates, Julian year (calendar), and Funicular calendar
Originally observed on March 15 in the old Roman Calendar, New Year's Day first came to be fixed in January 1, 153 BC, when the two Roman consuls, after whom - in the Roman calendar - years were named and numbered, began to be chosen on that date, for military reasons. However, dates in March, coinciding with the first day of spring, or commemorating the Annunciation of Jesus, along with a variety of Christian feast dates were used throughout the Middle Ages, though calendars often continued to display the months in columns running from January to December in the Roman fashion.
Among the 7th-century pagans of Flanders and the Netherlands it was the custom to exchange gifts at the New Year, a pagan custom deplored by Saint Eligius (died 659 or 660), who warned the Flemings and Dutchmen, "[Do not] make vetulas, [little figures of the Old Woman], little deer or iotticos or set tables [for the house-elf, compare Puck] at night or exchange New Year gifts or supply superfluous drinks [another Yule custom]." The quote is from the vita of Eligius written by his companion Oueen..
Most countries in
Some churches celebrate the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on January 1, based on the belief that Jesus was born on December 25, and that, according to Jewish tradition, his circumcision would have taken place on the eighth day of his life (which would be January 1). The Catholic Church has also given the name Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God to their holy day on January 1.
Englandand an extra round of football fixtures is played (unless New Year's Day falls on a Friday or Sunday). Scotland
, the Tournament of Roses is held, with revelers viewing the parade from the streets and watching on television, followed by the Rose Bowl football game. Pasadena, California, United States
- The aforementioned Rose Bowl football game is one of several postseason bowl games played in college football in the United States (though in recent years it, due to its involvement in the BCS, has not always fallen on New Year's Day; changes in the BCS mean that the Rose Bowl will return as a perennial New Year's Day fixture).
ViennaNew Year Concert, in . Austria
- Polar Bear Clubs: in many northern hemisphere cities near bodies of water, they will have a tradition of people plunging into the cold water on New Year's Day. The Coney Island Polar Bears Club in
New Yorkis the oldest cold-water swimming club in the . They have had groups of people enter the chilly surf since 1903. United States
, the Mummers Parade is held on Philadelphia Broad Street.
- Hindu New Year, which falls at the time and date Sun enters Mesha.
- Hindus celebrate the new year by paying respects to their parents and other elders and seek their blessings. They also exchange tokens of Good Wishes (Kai Vishesham).
- The New Year's Day Parade is held in
. Performers include acts from each of the city's 32 boroughs, as well as entertainment from around the world. London
New Year's Eve
Main article: New Year's Eve
Taipei 101 New Year's fireworks in Taipei,
, celebrations are held around the nation. Most famous is the celebration in Brazil which occurs in Copacabana beach, drawing 1.5 to 2.5 million people. Rio de Janeiro
Australia, celebrations are held around the nation, especially in , where one of the world's largest fireworks displays draws 1 to 1.5 million people to the harbour. Sydney is one of the first countries in the world to celebrate the new year. Australia
- In New York City, the world famous 1,070-pound, 6-foot-diameter Waterford crystal ball located high above Times Square is lowered starting at 11:59:00 p.m., or the last minute of the year, and reaches the bottom of its tower at the stroke of midnight. It is sometimes referred to as "the big apple" like the city itself; the custom derives from the time signal that used to be given at noon in harbors.
- Other ball drops occur in Copacabana beach in
Rio de Janeiroand . Sydney Harbour
- In The
Netherlands, and other European countries, the New Year is greeted with massive private fireworks. This day is also the occasion to make bonfires of discarded Christmas trees in some countries. Denmark
the New Year is greeted by fireworks and drinking champagne. The New Year is considered a family celebration, with lavish dinner tables and gifts. The president of Russia Russianormally counts down the final seconds of the "old year", as it is called in . A giant clock tower chimes in the new year, and it is customary to make a wish with each chime. Russia
- In South Korea, the most popular way of celebrating New Year's Day is to travel to Jung dong jin, the place on the peninsula where the Sun can first be seen each day.
- Junkanoo parade, in
. Nassau, Bahamas
- Some mayors in
North Americahold New Year levees.
, there are many special customs associated with the New Year. For more information, see Hogmanay, the Scots name for the New Year celebration. Scotland
- Japanese New Year in
- The Peach Drop in Underground
Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, . United States
, the final match of the Spengler Cup Ice Hockey Tournament is usually held on this day by tradition. Davos, Switzerland
- In the
, people light fireworks, loud firecrackers, booming sound system, bamboo canons as well as make a lot of noise to ward off evil spirits. Coins are also jumbled in tin cans to make noise with the belief that this will bring more money to the revelers. Philippines
- One country that uses the Gregorian calendar for business but does not formally celebrate a Dec 31/Jan 1 New Years holiday is
, this mainly due to objections by religious parties on the holiday's Christian religious origins. However, many secular Israelis do partake in some sort of informal celebration, especially if they have European or North American origins. Israel
- It is also very popular to kiss loved ones on New Years Eve to celebrate love and happiness.
Adoption of 1 January
It took quite a long time before 1 January again became the universal or standard start of the civil year. The years of adoption of 1 January as the new year are as follows -
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Holy Roman Empire (
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1 March was the first day of the numbered year in the
Autumnal equinox day (usually 22 September) was "New Year's Day" in the French Republican Calendar, which was in use from 1793 to 1805. This was primidi Vendémiaire, the first day of the first month.